Heatwave Scotland: Check on vulnerable neighbours to make sure they are OK – Scotsman comment

As Scotland saw temperatures rise above 30 degrees Celsius and England experienced just a taste of the record 40C-plus heat expected today, we are getting a sense of how different life in this country can be when the weather does strange things.

We should try to look after one another in the heatwave (Picture: Damien Meyer/AFP via Getty Images)
We should try to look after one another in the heatwave (Picture: Damien Meyer/AFP via Getty Images)

Warnings were issued not to exercise in the heat of the day and to avoid travel, while flights were cancelled, and trains were forced to slow down. It feels almost as systemic as the Covid lockdown.

But that bleak period in our history did come with some silver linings and one was the sense of community spirit that it helped to renew.

People checked on vulnerable neighbours, made sure they were all right and that they had what they needed from the shops. People were kind and caring in a wonderful way.

Heatwaves pose a threat that many people are unused to dealing with and it can be a deadly one.

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Scotland weather: Temperature soars over 30C in parts of Scotland amid amber war...

The Met Office amber warning for extreme heat today, which covers most of southern Scotland and extends as far north as Dundee, says that “adverse health effects are likely to be experienced by those vulnerable to extreme heat”, and also that the wider population should take care to avoid sunburn, heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses.

So it is true that we do all need to take care. However, if we are able, we should also check on those who are particularly vulnerable – just as we did during lockdown – to make sure they are coping or, perhaps, check whether they are needing anything from the shops.

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